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Find your own path in life matters. Here’s why.

When you live your life writing another person’s story, let’s just say that existence can feel glum. It’s not following your life path and It’s not until you break away from the flock and discover your own truths, that your life really begins for the first time.

My life didn’t begin until I was in my early twenties. Most of the time I was a miserable heap, wishing for a life I didn’t have, and stuck in a mental prison cell of my own making.

As an awkward lanky kid with two buck teeth and a speech impediment whilst growing up, I didn’t have close ties to many of my peers. I was always a bit of an outsider, and I didn’t really fit in anywhere.

I had problems learning and didn’t understand what was happening most of the time. Consequently, I fell into the label of being a defective product, an outcast.

As I watched every peer pass me by while I still lacked these fundamental abilities, I felt cold, trapped, and lonely. I was alienated in my own world, and desperate to get out of it.

I tried my best to conform, copy, mimic. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t be someone else. All I wanted was to belong, to feel accepted, like a normal kid living a normal life.

I didn’t know why I was different. I didn’t know how to be ‘normal’, and that’s all I longed for.

I was stuck on a path with no seeming escape

In the following years, I was learning some things, but it became more apparent that I was falling further behind. I was not developing the social skills that I needed. I was barely scraping through school without constant assistance from peers and teachers.

This feeling of separation grew larger, and evolved into depression. Nothing could open my mind the way that suicidal tendencies did. This depression was my best teacher, it told me that I had an ultimate decision to make.

Either I take my life and end the suffering, or I expand as a human being, and crawl out of this glum hole that I spent a big part of my life in.

I didn’t find god, I didn’t find a girlfriend, but I found self-development and married it.

Why personal development is a gateway to finding your own life path

Realizing that everything about myself could be learnt opened a door of self-awareness and actualisation. Who would have thought that growth just needs a little bit of encouragement.

When the idea struck me that I could learn how to learn, shape myself how I wanted, and develop the skills and abilities that most people take for granted, a whole new world came into creation.

This spurred me into an obsession with researching, learning, and trying to change myself in every possible way.

So the years ticked by as I poured sweat and tears into my evolution, and… nothing.

In fact, despite all of the time and energy that I invested into my development, nothing really changed at all.

There were some neat tricks and minor tweaks that stuck with me, but for the most part, I couldn’t maintain or integrate what I was learning, regardless of how religiously I tried.

Honestly, it felt like a scam after a while. And back came the sadness, the despair of being forever stuck as my lonely, defective self.

I never lost focus of personal development, but life once again came to the forefront. Then came a turbulent relationship with drugs, and straight down the rabbit-hole I went.

How I overcame the barriers between me and finding my own life path

When I was twenty-one, that’s when I started to make real leaps forward towards my own life path.

My social skills started developing. My mindsets and perceptions of life began to shift. For the first time, I noticed myself habituating some of that stubborn knowledge. I started to feel much more competent with the skills and abilities that I was learning.

I became increasingly philosophical as I dug deep into my psyche, and unravelled many personal truths about life, and what I’m doing here.

Through all the demons I had to confront, the healing I needed to endure, I decided to write my own story, for I had always been living someone else’s.

At this point, some of the barriers came crashing down, and I realised that nothing is holding me back anymore. Why aren’t I out there living my best life? The gate was unlocked, I just had to walk through it.

The urge to get away from the beaten track grew stronger, and I knew that I needed to start making some serious change.

I felt that I had to challenge myself and put everything I had learnt to the test, so I did. It was time to turn a new leaf, and reclaim the life I never had.

Become the writer of your own story

At the age of twenty-three, I left Australia to study in Brazil. After this, I spent about seven months backpacking South America, and volunteering at hostels in exchange for food and stay.

It was a time of introspection, healing, and inner discovery. There were many rough lessons, but so much growth.

Once I had a taste of what’s out there in the world, then began a more nomal lifestyle as an English teacher, one brimming with freedom, possibility, and opportunity.

My well-being has skyrocketed since I took control of my own learning curve. When I learnt to take my life into my own hands, that’s when I started to shed my skin.

I never knew how important the act of self-creation is. I wasn’t inferior because I lacked the abilities that most people had. I was inferior because I didn’t understand the concept of growth, and the transformative potential that it has.

Self-actualisation opened a doorway that’s poetic in words, and surreal in reality. Some of my paradigms completely melted away, others shifted with time and patience. But what I learnt is that the essence of self-transformation is gradual, it’s a life journey.

You are both an investment, and the investor

You can’t just read a few articles and expect your life to change. Growth is a process, but so many people throw in the towel before they have really begun. 

You need patience and persistence. You need to enjoy the process of evolving yourself. 

Embrace the ups and downs along this journey of inner change and outer transformation. Be curious to know more. Experiment, try new things, see what works for you.

Learn to love all the failures, mistakes, humiliations and setbacks that you have along the way. Life lessons are essential.

Understand that the process of self-transformation will be two steps forward, one step back. Three steps forward, four steps back. Personal development is a dance, give it some practice.

You reap the rewards of the effort that you put into your development. You are an investment, and investing in yourself is the best possible investment that you can make.

When you really start digging into who you are and questioning why you are that way, you begin to evolve. Once you become self-aware, you start to understand that you are a product of yourself. You are a creator, the writer of your own story.

Unfortunately, many of us never dig deep enough into our wounds to reel out the lessons embedded in them. Most of us take life for granted. We don’t acknowledge how wonderful this experience can be.

Many of us spend our lives escaping, deferring, living as the victim. So we stay trapped in these painful patterns because they’re all we have known. Until you make the conscious decision to take command of your life, you will always be a prisoner.

Finding your own life path

You, and you alone are the sole creator and perpetuator of your own happiness and suffering. You have the ultimate jurisdiction over what you experience in life. But of course, that’s not what you’re led to believe.

When you refuse to see the truth in yourself, you are bound to relive the same negative patterns that you have always known.

It’s through time that you experience different things and begin walking a separate path. Instead of following the beaten track, life becomes a series of choices. Endless decisions that pave the road you walk down.

Every moment of every breath, you make a decision. You decide to take a puff of the cigarette. You decide to read one more paragraph. You decide to turn left instead of right, to look up instead of down.

Every decision, big or small, leads to a plethora of new opportunities, a fork in the road. Brick by brick, choice by choice, your reality is constructed.

You are constantly being moulded by your experiences, and continue to reinvent yourself every second of every day.

We all walk different roads through the medium of choice, and influence the world around us in different ways. There have been many lessons that life has taught me, but the most important is that you cannot walk in other people’s shoes.

You cannot try to be other people. You are a sovereign agent, a pioneer of your own consciousness. What do you decide to explore? Who are you going to become?

When you embrace your uniqueness and decide to pave your own road, that’s when your life truly begins. Don’t settle for the ordinary, but take life for a ride because sooner or later, it will come to a close.

The world is a sandbox where you can do anything and be anyone.

Follow your own truths. Stop being who you should be. Stop doing what you should do. It’s time to take responsibility for your own learning curve.

Pave your own road, and you will begin to see how beautiful life really is.

Daniel Hannah

Daniel Hannah

I'm Daniel, a teacher, writer, and avid traveler from Melbourne, Australia. My passion rests in educating, advising, and sharing personal insight and wisdom that I have gained throughout the past several years studying, working, and backpacking around the world. I have learnt so much throughout my journey of self-betterment and actualization, and now I feel it's only right to pass this knowledge on to those who are embarking upon a similar journey. You can find me here symbosity.com
Daniel Hannah

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Daniel and Elle,

    This is an insightful article on the value of being yourself and carving out your own path. This is so true about lessons in life, “…but the most important is that you cannot walk in other people’s shoes.” I have found the more I am true to myself, the happier and more confident I feel. Thank you.

    • Hi Cathy – I totally agree with you – being true to yourself is so important to leading a full and happy life.

  2. Daniel,

    I was a lanky awkward kid too, with crooked teeth, then braces, headgear, and glasses. My opinion of myself was formed during those awkward years. As you said, it becomes a limiting mental prison of our own making. My path to freedom was personal development too. I don’t know that I’ve found “my path”. I don’t know that it is even necessary to find “the one”. I think my path is just being present and finding joy and doing good where I can. 🙂

    • Hi Debbie – I wonder if ‘our path’ is where we are today and being prepared to take the next step, even if it means starting out on a new path?

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